Kamila Valieva: 5 Things to Know About Russian Figure Skater Banned From the Olympics

The 17-year-old athlete tested positive for a prohibited drug in 2021, which ultimately banned her from competition for four years. 

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Kamila Valieva was poised to be the champion at the 2022 Winter Olympics, but a drug test quickly ruined her chances. The 17-year-old athlete’s case has been a huge topic in the figure skating community. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has placed her under a ban from competition, even though she has defended her innocence. 

After the drug controversy arose during the 2022 games, viewers were divided over whether or not Kamila deserved the disqualification. The young skater didn’t medal during the individual competition after failing to execute several jumps during her program. She was seen crying on the ice in the end. 

Learn more about Kamila and her skating career below. 

Kamila Valieva at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Kamila Was 15 at the 2022 Olympics 

During the winter 2022 games, Kamila was just 15 when she competed. After securing her place in the Olympics, she helped the Russian team place first ahead of the United States. 

She Was the First Woman to Land a Quad Jump at the Olympics

Although many skaters have executed a quadruple jump on the ice, only a handful have been able to accomplish the feat in a professional competition. Kamila became the first woman to ever land a quadruple jump in Olympic history. While executing her clean triple axel, Kamila successful landed a quad salchow and a toe loop. 

Kamila Recreated the ‘Wednesday’ Dance on Ice 

Aside from her Olympic status, Kamila also became known for her creative skating performances. Her most famous program was the recreation of the viral Wednesday dance to The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck,” which Jenna Ortega originally danced to in the Netflix series. 

For the performance, Kamila dressed in the Wednesday Addams Rave’n dance costume and appeared to wear a black wig with the iconic pigtails. She began the program by reenacting Thing’s hand, then rising to step onto the ice. While she managed to perform her signature jumps and spins, Kamila made sure to perform the actual routine in the middle of her performance — never breaking character as well. 

She Was Banned From Competition for 4 Years

During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kamila was discovered to have tested positive for the drug trimetazidine (TMZ), which is used to treat heart conditions, such as angina. The substance was listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited drugs. 

The figure skater defended herself by claiming that she wasn’t aware the drug was in her system. Per NBC, Her legal team has also maintained the claim that her grandfather had been the one taking the drug for his heart condition and may have contaminated a strawberry dessert that she consumed around the time she was competing in 2021 competitions. The attorneys further claimed that Kamila’s grandfather had made her the treat by using the same cutting board that he had been using to cut up his heart medication for years. 

The CAS panel reportedly noted that Kamila was an “honest, straightforward and credible witness,” but, nonetheless, ruled that her argument had no “concrete” evidence to support the claim. As a result, Kamila was banned for four years from competition, backdated to December 2021 at the time her contaminated drug test was submitted. 

All figure skaters from Russia and Belarus were also banned from attending the 2022 World Championships due to Russia’s belligerent and criminal invasion on Ukraine.

Kamila’s Gold Medal Was Taken Away

After her drug test was uncovered, Kamila’s gold medal that she helped the Russian Olympic Committee receive was given to the U.S. team in 2024, according to the Associate Press.